This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators went to Concord Thursday to tout their transportation package, which they unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol.
- Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León amended his "sanctuary state" bill Thursday morning to allow law enforcement to notify federal immigration officials about the release of violent felons.
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones hosted a community forum on immigration Tuesday, where the guest speaker was the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said Tuesday he has decided not to run for state attorney general in 2018, eliminating a prominent Republican challenge to Democratic Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra.
Ramos said he will run for reelection as district attorney to finish work he has as the county prosecutor. He said one factor was the large amount of effort it takes to run a statewide campaign, something he learned after spending much of last year supporting Proposition 66, which changes death penalty procedures.
“I am a realist and I have confidence in our attorney general, Xavier Becerra,” Ramos said in an interview. Becerra was appointed this year to the job,
Ramos posted a statement on his campaign website that he realized “the true gatekeepers for public safety" were county district attorneys. He was also elected president of the National District Attorneys Assn.
“While I have the highest respect for the position of Attorney General, I believe that I can better serve the public at the local level, while still continuing to champion legislation and public safety efforts at both the state and national levels," Ramos said.